It covers payment methods and information on, banking systems, foreign exchange controls, and U.S. and correspondent banking.
Methods of Payment
Payment methods and terms vary depending upon a company’s business model and relationship with its Armenian trading partner. Requesting advance payment for goods and services from an Armenian customer may be a prudent course for new-to-market companies, at least until both parties establish a positive record of payment. Once a firm has established a strong relationship with an Armenian trading partner, it may consider extending short and eventually longer-term credit as a way to boost sales volume. This should be done with caution and only after careful evaluation and establishment of successful payments.
Large Armenian banks service foreign trade transactions. Methods of payment generally include a letter of credit or advance payment. To carry out transactions through banks, buyers and sellers must have a written contract. Domestic or international company-to-company sales are primarily made by bank transfer, letter of credit, or on a barter basis.
Armenia has one licensed credit bureau, the “ACRA Credit Reporting” CJSC. There is no licensed collection agency.
For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide.
Armenia’s economy is still largely cash based. The large role of remittances from abroad implies a steady and significant role for bank transfers. The use of debit and credit cards is increasing as the network of automated teller machines (ATMs) and point-of-sale terminals expands. Armenian banks provide a range of standard banking services, including bank transfers, lending programs, corporate deposit accounts, plastic card operations, and trade finance (including letters of credit, collections, and guarantees), as well as trust operations, brokerage services, and more.
Foreign Exchange Controls
Armenia has a liberal regime of foreign exchange regulation. Armenian residents and foreign nationals can hold foreign currency accounts and import, export, and exchange foreign currency relatively freely in accordance with the Central Bank of Armenia regulations and the Law on Currency Control.
U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks
The Central Bank of Armenia maintains a list of Armenian banks that includes SWIFT information and correspondent banking relationships. There are no U.S. banks in Armenia.